‘A grim fury that would make the Taliban jealous’

What an ass. Here’s some in-depth coverage of the war in Afghanistan:

There are many tribes at Bagram. The dominant ones are easily identifiable by their digital camo, bad haircuts, and guns banging against their butts even in the chow hall. The other main tribe, the contractors, are recognizable by their Fu Manchu mustaches, Realtree camo, and crushed KBR baseball caps. These groups are augmented by an invisible population of about 600 prisoners. The only Afghans we spy during our Burger King, DQ, and Subway meals are those who clean tables and scrub toilets.

Like I said earlier, tough to figure out why so many Americans have a negative view of US troops with Pulitzer-level journalism like this steaming pile of shit from Robert Young Pelton in Men’s Journal.


  1. Pelton is a “danger” self-groupie.

    He likes to travel to horrendously dangerous places, and then act tough and cool.

    Even wrote some guide books about his own antics.

  2. “The ‘carrot and stick’ approach is to build rapport with the locals by providing basics — something akin to the conquistadores [sic] bringing shiny trinkets for the Mayans.”

    Yeah, that’s just what its like. Asshole.

    This prick already had his mind made up before he went in. Why pretend to be a journalist when you are not there to find out facts? Everything he observes is color commentaried with his own preconceptions. The kids give “well practiced” thumbs up. How the hell does he know that? Did he go ask them if they practiced it?

    I suppose it could be worse. He doesn’t even pretend at objectivity. Some people write like this but really try to sell it as bare truth.

  3. I’ve read several of Pelton’s books and viewed a few of his videos. I actually like his tuff; gotta give him credit for getting out in the dirt with the locals without much of a support network.

    From the tone of the article………..I think the lad may be starting to believe his own PR (becoming a legend in his own mind?)…….but I can easily relate to some of his characterizations of both the milspecs and contractors he cam into contact with. There are a lot of really great people in both groups are are trying hard to do good jobs under frequently bad conditions. Then there are the “other kind”. The article makes me suspect there may have been a higher than normal percentage of the second group around Pelton than the first group.

  4. “He [Pelton] likes to travel to horrendously dangerous places, and then act tough and cool.”

    OH. I see, Kristopher. You mean like Geraldo! Rivera?

  5. I can read between the lines and see that some of what he reports is no doubt true. New agencies or groups with poorly defined or executed missions are nothing new. Guys’ fascination with gear and gizmos is a given, and I’m sure some people are real dorks about it. Some soldiers are probably gung ho Animal Mother wannabes like the one he mentioned (“interviewing” Afghans). But to read the article would be to get the impression that everyone there is either a jagoff or an incompetent, or perhaps they just don’t give a crap.

    I’m glad he disdains the bases that the guys protecting him operate from. He was there for a week or two, I’m guessing. Most of those guys are there a year or so, no? I would want some comforts too after a while. What does he want them to do, move into an Afghan village and rent a room? That would be good for force protection.

    I’m sorry, but his tone was crap. It’s hard to take anything he says that even might be valid seriously.

  6. Nope … Geraldo always has a bunch of bodyguards and hangers on about. Not a bit of danger there.

    Pelton does tend to actually walk into trouble.

    I was surprised at the tone of his article … I expected better from him. Maybe he ran into a bunch of Custer-Battles hired newbs?

    ( I actually had one of those bozos try to hire me based on my rifle score at an Appleseed shoot. I got some flack for turning him down. I told “Fred” to go to Gabe Suarez’s Warriortalk forum, and search for Custer-Battles and get back to me. Basically a schlock outfit that puts its people at high risk by cheaping out. )

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